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(covers information from several alternate timelines)
"You have a tendency to express ideas in military terms, Mister Khan. This is a social occasion."
– James T. Kirk, 2267 ("Space Seed")

In the various military-style service organizations throughout the galaxy, and probably beyond, military parlance was the unique form of speech of the service people in the common agency or service organization.

Many nautical terms were forms of military parlance particular to naval traditions.

As you were []

"As you were" meant to disregard the previous order and revert to what one was doing beforehand. It was sometimes used gently, such as to allow officers to relax following a call for attention or a salute. In other cases, however, it could be a command when an officer assumed a hostile position or attitude.

In 2374, when Admiral William Ross paid a visit to the mess hall of the USS Defiant, Cadet Nog respectfully announced "Admiral on deck" and Ross told him "As you were," and later the similar phase, "Carry on." (DS9: "Behind the Lines")

In the same year, following an act of insubordination on the part of Seven of Nine, Captain Janeway temporarily stripped her of certain privileges. Seven of Nine suggested that Janeway was frightened by her individuality and Janeway growled "As you were." (VOY: "Prey")

The following were known users and their additional of the phase(s):

At ease[]

"Mister Kim, at ease before you sprain something."
– Kathryn Janeway to Harry Kim, 2371 ("Caretaker")

At ease was a request or command for an officer to relax. (ST: "Q&A"; TNG: "The Last Outpost"; VOY: "Caretaker")

Christopher Pike once told Spock to be at ease, only for him to reply that it was not his strong suit. (ST: "Q&A")


"Attention-to-orders" was a command that required personnel to cease making distracting movements and noises and give their undivided attention to the speaker, but which did not require those present to come to a position of attention.

In 2369, Commander William T. Riker called attention to orders before Captain Jean-Luc Picard read the orders that transferred command of the USS Enterprise to Captain Edward Jellico at the formal change of command ceremony in Ten Forward. (TNG: "Chain Of Command, Part I")

Brace for impact[]

"Brace for impact" was an alert usually declared from the bridge of a starship, before it achieved an impact that the inertial dampers could not adequately compensate for. When this alert was sounded, usually through the order of the captain or first officer, all hands were to secure their stations and prepare for impact. This alert was also used when the inertial dampers could not sufficiently level out the ship and a possible collision with an interstellar object was imminent. This alert could also be used to warn a ship's crew of possible emergency landing procedures.

In September 2152, Captain Archer warned the crew to brace for impact seconds before the ship was hit by the neutronic wavefront. (ENT: "The Catwalk")

In 2153, when Enterprise NX-01 encountered a field of spatial anomalies in the Delphic Expanse, Captain Jonathan Archer warned the crew to brace for impact prior to the ship's being impacted by one of the anomalies. (ENT: "Proving Ground")

In 2368, Lieutenant junior grade Monroe ordered all decks of the USS Enterprise-D to brace for impact as a quantum filament moved towards the vessel, which had already sustained heavy damage from a previous hit. Killed in the impact, these were her last words. (TNG: "Disaster")

In 2369, Benjamin Sisko told Kira Nerys, Julian Bashir, and Kai Opaka to brace for impact before the USS Yangtzee Kiang crashed on the moon of the Ennis and the Nol-Ennis. (DS9: "Battle Lines")

In 2371, Commander William T. Riker warned the crew of the Enterprise-D to brace for impact when the secondary hull was breached and necessitated an emergency landing of the saucer section (primary hull) on the surface of the planet Veridian III. (Star Trek Generations)

That same year, Lieutenant Tuvok warned all hands of the USS Voyager to brace for impact just before the ship was swiped by the tail of a space-dwelling lifeform. (VOY: "Elogium")

In 2373, Commander Chakotay ordered all hands aboard Voyager to brace for impact as a subspace shock wave from a supernova approached the ship. (VOY: "The Q and the Grey")

In 2374, Martok told the IKS Rotarran crew to brace for impact when it appeared a Jem'Hadar fighter was firing on them. In fact, Alexander Rozhenko had confused the reading with a battle simulation. (DS9: "Sons and Daughters")

That same year, during an early version of alternate timeline known as the Year of Hell, Captain Kathryn Janeway warned all hands on the USS Voyager to brace for impact prior to the ship's being hit by a spatial distortion from the Krenim weapon ship which altered history. Later, in that altered history, Janeway again ordered all hands to brace for impact prior to the ship's being hit by a distortion from the weapon ship, which this time had no effect due to the vessel's new temporal shielding. (VOY: "Year of Hell")

Captain Janeway warned the crew of the USS Voyager to brace for impact in 2375 when the ship was attempting to escape from the the Void through its vortex by riding the incoming shock wave from the vessel's aft. (VOY: "Night")

In an alternate timeline, Voyager was thrown out of a quantum slipstream corridor and headed to a nearby L-class planet to make an emergency landing. When Janeway realized they were coming in too hard, she ordered her crew to brace for impact. (VOY: "Timeless")

Captain Jean-Luc Picard warned the crew of the USS Enterprise-E to brace for impact when he ordered the ship to ram the Reman warbird Scimitar in 2379. (Star Trek Nemesis)


Cannon fodder[]

The term "cannon fodder" referred to soldiers who were seen as expendable. The term derived from soldiers who were ordered to charge into the face of artillery fire, which was practically a suicide charge.

During the Dominion War, the Romulan military integrated Reman infantry into its ranks. They were used as shock troops in the most violent encounters, which Riker described as "cannon fodder". (Star Trek Nemesis)

The redshirts could be seen as cannon fodder.

Confined to quarters[]

Being "confined to quarters" (sometimes phrased as "restricted to quarters") was a punishment that could be applied on Federation Starfleet starships and starbases. This form of discipline was generally used for more minor offenses, rather than those of a more serious nature that would require action such as being placed in the brig or a reduction in rank. On occasion, this punishment may be used as a long-term measure in special circumstances. The punishment usually, though not always, also involved being temporarily relieved of duty.

On occasion, temporary confinement to quarters was also used as a security measure to protect non-essential starship crew from an imminent threat.

Less frequently, temporary confinement to quarters was also used for civilians who were captured after being caught in the act of committing an offense by a starship.

In 2152, Captain Jonathan Archer restricted both Commander Charles Tucker III and Lieutenant Malcolm Reed to quarters following an unauthorized exploration of the interior of the automated repair station, stating that he was beginning to agree with Reed's recent assessment that security on Enterprise NX-01 had become lax. It was uncertain how long this punishment lasted, however, as both were called to duty following the discovery of the apparently dead Ensign Travis Mayweather. (ENT: "Dead Stop")

In 2154, when Captain Jonathan Archer was suffering from reverse-imprinting on Xindi-Insectoid eggs, he confined both Sub-Commander T'Pol and Lieutenant Malcolm Reed to quarters and threatened the same punishment for Charles Tucker III after each spoke against his actions in protecting the eggs. (ENT: "Hatchery")

That same year, Commander Charles Tucker III ordered Commander Kelby confined to quarters after he displayed mildly insubordinate behavior toward him. When Kelby resisted, Tucker told him that it was either that or the brig. (ENT: "Bound")

In 2257, Captain Christopher Pike confined Ash Tyler to quarters when he had reason to believe he had sabotaged the USS Discovery. (DIS: "If Memory Serves")

After his hearing in 2266, Harcourt Fenton Mudd was confined to quarters. (TOS: "Mudd's Women")

After Charles Evans psychokinetically caused a crewmember named Sam to vanish in 2266, Captain James T. Kirk arranged for a pair of security officers to accompany Evans to his quarters and confine him there. Evans repeatedly rebelled against being restricted to quarters, though, so Kirk and Spock eventually tried a more severe method of confining him there, rigging a force field on the door to Evans' cabin. This attempt failed too, as Evans again managed to escape, and was soon thereafter taken away from the ship (against his wishes) by Thasians. (TOS: "Charlie X")

In 2267, Spock turned himself over to the custody of Doctor Leonard McCoy after admitting to having taken control over the USS Enterprise under false pretenses. McCoy asked if confinement to quarters would be enough. Spock agreed so and McCoy ordered security to confine him. (TOS: "The Menagerie, Part I")

In 2268, Captain Kirk confined Ensign Garrovick to quarters and relieved him of duties after he hesitated in firing upon a dikironium cloud creature. Doctor Leonard McCoy felt the punishment was too harsh, but Kirk noted that one man had been killed and another might die. Garrovick, however, left his quarters after a general call to battle stations and Kirk, realizing that Garrovick had simply made a mistake, and one that ultimately was not the cause of any deaths, chose to release him from his punishment and give him a chance to redeem himself. (TOS: "Obsession")

That same year, Captain Kirk confined several members of the crew of the Enterprise to quarters following a barroom brawl on Deep Space Station K-7, including Chief Engineering Officer Montgomery Scott. Although this was supposed to be a punishment, Scott was secretly delighted as he had resisted taking shore leave and being confined to quarters gave him a chance to catch up on his reading of technical journals. (TOS: "The Trouble with Tribbles"; DS9: "Trials and Tribble-ations")

In 2366, Doctor Paul Stubbs was told to return to his quarters immediately by Ensign Wesley Crusher during a red alert on the USS Enterprise-D, suggesting that this may have been standard for non-essential personnel during emergency situations on the vessel. Guinan later commented to Crusher that she had never been good at being confined to quarters, something that any of her husbands could attest to. (TNG: "Evolution")

In 2367, after the Cardassian Glinn Telle was discovered attempting to access information on Enterprise-D weapon systems, Gul Macet told him to go to his quarters, where he was to be confined for the remainder of their mission aboard the vessel. He later told Picard that Telle would be disciplined upon his return, but Picard replied that he considered the matter closed. Later, during the same mission, Picard confined Captain Benjamin Maxwell to quarters until he could be returned to Starfleet to face whatever punishment was deemed appropriate for his actions in attacking Cardassian vessels, in violation of the Federation-Cardassian Armistice of 2367. (TNG: "The Wounded")

That same year, Commander William T. Riker suggested confining Lieutenant Reginald Barclay to quarters as a preventative measure after a Cytherian probe stimulated his brain to give him superhuman intelligence and other skills. Lieutenant commander Geordi La Forge, however, did not see how they could lock someone for being too smart. Captain Picard agreed that Barclay should not be confined unless the did something overtly menacing, as he saw no reason to prevent him continuing his work, and his skills were also needed to repair the Argus Array. (TNG: "The Nth Degree")

In 2370, Lieutenant Commander Data threatened to have Lieutenant Commander Geordi La Forge confined to quarters for the duration of the mission to investigate the wreckage of the USS Raman if La Forge persisted in using an interface probe to search for his mother against the orders of Captain Jean-Luc Picard. Realizing how important the issue was to La Forge, though, he chose to try to help keep him safe instead, stating that he couldn't have him confined to quarters for something he had not yet done. (TNG: "Interface")

That same year, Data was briefly confined to quarters as a protective measure after an apparent malfunction in his program caused him to begin attacking members of the Enterprise-D crew. As Worf confiscated his phaser, he asked him to assume temporary care of his cat, Spot. Data's captivity was soon ended when it was discovered that his actions were, in fact, not a malfunction but rather a subsconcious attempt to protect the crew from invasive interphasic organisms. He was then brought to the holodeck, where it was hoped a simulation of his dream program could prove useful in finding a way to defeat the organisms. (TNG: "Phantasms")

Later that same year, Commander Benjamin Sisko ordered all non-essential personnel on Deep Space 9 restricted to quarters and called for red alert after a series of attacks on the station that unknown to anyone at the time, including himself, were done by Constable Odo, under the influence of toxic gas. (DS9: "The Alternate")

In 2371, following an incident in which Lieutenant B'Elanna Torres broke Lieutenant Joe Carey's nose, Ensign Seska reported a rumor that all Maquis crewmembers on the USS Voyager were going to be restricted to quarters when not on duty, but Commander Chakotay told her this wasn't true. (VOY: "Parallax")

In 2372, Captain Benjamin Sisko confined Lieutenant Commander Worf to his quarters during those times he was not on duty on the USS Defiant following a brawl involving a number of Jem'Hadar. First Omet'iklan was not impressed with Sisko's choice of discipline, believing that he should have killed Worf, but Sisko felt that a dead man could not learn from his mistakes. (DS9: "To the Death")

That same year, Crewman Lon Suder was discovered to have murdered crewmate Frank Darwin on board Voyager. Though Suder's crime was of the most extreme nature, Voyager's unusual circumstances of being stranded in the Delta Quadrant caused Captain Kathryn Janeway to choose to keep Suder confined in his quarters under maximum security containment for the duration of their journey home. (VOY: "Meld") This punishment continued up until Suder's death later that year. (VOY: "Basics, Part II")

Also that same year, the captured Kazon Teirna was confined to quarters on a secured deck on Voyager following a series of attacks by Kazon vessels. (VOY: "Basics, Part I")

In 2373, Captain Benjamin Sisko confined Cadet Nog and his son to quarters after they accused Kai Winn Adami of burglary and kidnapping and Jake claimed that they had gotten a little drunk. In fact, the two were investigating the disappearance of Doctor Elias Giger, who was in possession of a Willie Mays baseball card that Jake wished to give to his father. (DS9: "In the Cards")

In 2374, a number of both the Cardassian and Jem'Hadar aboard the temporarily Dominion-occupied Deep Space 9/Terok Nor were confined to quarters pending disciplinary hearings following an incident involving a missing PADD that was actually caused by the Deep Space 9 resistance cell. (DS9: "Behind the Lines")

That same year, Gul Damar suggested to Gul Dukat that his daughter Tora Ziyal be temporarily confined to quarters, as he believed her to be part of the Deep Space 9 resistance, but Dukat resisted the suggestion. (DS9: "Sacrifice of Angels")

Also that same year, a holographic simulation of Captain Sisko supposedly relieved the senior staff of Deep Space 9 of duty and confined them to quarters pending an investigation by Internal Affairs. This, however, was all a ruse created in a holosuite by Luther Sloan to test Doctor Julian Bashir and Bashir was, in fact, the only one who suffered any sort of confinement. (DS9: "Inquisition")

In 2375, Doctor Beverly Crusher confined a number of Son'a hostages to quarters after they refused an examination. (Star Trek: Insurrection)

In 2376, Captain Kathryn Janeway confined Captain Rudolph Ransom and the other surviving members of the USS Equinox to quarters on Voyager after learning of their killing of nucleogenic lifeforms as a source of warp power for the Equinox. Ransom pleaded for leniency, stating that they were only following his orders, but Janeway replied that this was their mistake. Almost all of them later escaped to the Equinox and attempted to flee Voyager. Later, after Janeway took extreme measures to get information regarding Ransom out of Crewman Noah Lessing, Commander Chakotay objected vociferously to her actions and she relieved him of duty and confined him to his quarters. Ultimately, the remaining Equinox crew that survived the incident were stripped of rank and made to serve on Voyager as crewmen. (VOY: "Equinox", "Equinox, Part II")

That same year, Janeway confined Ensigns Harry Kim and Tom Paris to quarters after they became drunk and participated in what they believed to be a Kinbori version of tennis and became involved in a brawl. She seemed mildly amused however, asking if they won they fight. (VOY: "Survival Instinct")

During a level 10 security alert on-board Voyager, non-essential personnel were confined to quarters for their safety. (VOY: "Repression")

Cover your Six[]

"Stay here. Cover our six." - Commander Ransom (LD: “Veritas[!]")

"All hands, emergency protocol, regroup and rendezvous in sickbay. Repeat, get to sickbay and watch your six." - Captain Pike (SNWAll Those Who Wander[!]”)

Cover your six” or “Watch your six” is a military slang term that means “watch your back.” ‘Six’ refers to the six o'clock position on a clock. So, if you’re facing forward, “six” is directly behind you.


"That's a Starfleet expression for 'get out!'"
– Kathryn Janeway, 2371 ("The Cloud")

Dismissal was usually used as a formal release of a crewmember from an official military function, such as a debriefing or other meeting. The senior officer typically gave such a command.

In 2368, after giving Wesley Crusher a scathing rebuke over lying about Nova Squadron's attempt to use the Kolvoord Starburst that lead to the death of a wingman, Captain Picard stopped Wesley from trying to explain further with a loud "Dismissed!" (TNG: "The First Duty")

On board the Federation Starfleet vessel Voyager, Captain Janeway used "dismissed" to end her conversations, especially those in her ready room. Neelix once demanded to be let off the ship because he was feeling uncomfortable with the risk the ship was taking. Janeway firmly denied his request and then when Neelix asked "Are we done?", she replied "Dismissed." (VOY: "The Cloud")

The following officers have used the expression:

Double time[]

Down the throat[]

"Down the throat" was, in naval parlance, the aiming of a torpedo directly at an approaching vessel.

Commodore Matt Decker used such a reference when he piloted the shuttlecraft Einstein towards the planet killer, he explained to Captain James T. Kirk that, "there is no way to blast through the hull of that machine, so I'm going to take this thing right down its throat." (TOS: "The Doomsday Machine")

Drummed out[]

To be drummed out meant to literally have one's dishonorable discharge accompanied by a drum. It could refer to anyone who was kicked out of an organization in disgrace.

In 2366, Guinan referred to Q's having been drummed out of the Q Continuum. (TNG: "Deja Q")

Duty []

"Duty" was a term that conveyed a sense of moral commitment to someone or something. When someone recognized a duty, they committed themselves to the cause involved without considering the self-interested courses of actions that may have been relevant previously. The first duty of every Starfleet officer was to the truth, whether it was scientific truth or historical truth or personal truth. (TNG: "The First Duty"; VOY: "Fair Trade") The first duty of any captured officer was to attempt escape. (DS9: "'Til Death Do Us Part") When one was a commanding officer, their first duty was to the ship on which they served, even if serving that vessel meant ordering a fellow crewmember to their death. (TNG: "Thine Own Self") The line of duty referred to an action or event, typically the death of an officer, which occurred while they were on duty.

A duty shift was the portion of the day during which various scheduled personnel aboard a starship or space station were on duty. The three shift rotation schedule was common in the Federation Starfleet. (Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country; DS9: "The Assignment"; TNG: "Chain Of Command, Part I")

Crew evaluations were part of the duties of the senior staff aboard the USS Enterprise-D to discuss candidates for promotion. William T. Riker and Deanna Troi were not fond of writing the required crew evaluation reports. (TNG: "Man Of The People", "Lower Decks", "Tapestry")

A starship was on detached duty when it was sent on a special mission, or was "detached", from what it would normally be doing. The USS Enterprise-D was placed on detached duty in 2370, in order to investigate the disappearance and death of Captain Jean-Luc Picard. (TNG: "Gambit, Part I")

Off duty was a common term used to describe the time without work and also shore leave. (DS9: "Defiant")

An officer could be placed on light duty, sometimes known as restricted duty, following a medical episode. (DS9: "Visionary"; VOY: "Cold Fire"; DS9: "Rapture")

In August 2151, Captain Jonathan Archer declined the offer of Keene to share a glass of Draylaxian whiskey as he was on duty. (ENT: "Fortunate Son")

Chakotay was of the general opinion that Starfleet was run by duty-crazed bureaucrats. (VOY: "The Omega Directive")

Active duty []

"Active duty" was a status held by personnel and starships. Those members of Starfleet still on active duty were placed on an active duty list. (TOS: "The Menagerie, Part I")

Starships on active duty did not have an honor detachment. (TOS: "The Savage Curtain")

In 2368, following an accident which left him paralyzed, Worf was removed from active duty. (TNG: "Ethics")

In 2375, Worf had no choice but to remove Kor from active duty, something he found difficult. (DS9: "Once More Unto the Breach")

Ensign Stone's personal log recording from stardate 52188.7 mentioned that the ensign had just completed their first week of active duty. In 2375, Seven of Nine quoted this portion of the personal log. (VOY: "Infinite Regress")

Line of duty []

The line of duty referred to an action or event, typically the death of an officer, which occurred while they were on duty. "In the line of duty" was an idiom.

In 2370, Ensign Sito Jaxa had been lost in the line of duty while performing a secret and dangerous mission in Cardassian space with the Cardassian Joret Dal, a Federation operative. After intercepting a Cardassian report, the USS Enterprise-D learned that her evacuation pod was destroyed while leaving Cardassian space due to the belief that she was a Bajoran prisoner who escaped from her captor. (TNG: "Lower Decks")

Tour of duty []

"Tour of duty" was a term used by Starfleet officers when they were talking about their "time on a mission".

The geologist Carstairs was on his first tour of duty in 2268. (TOS: "The Ultimate Computer")

The same year, Captain Kirk informed two security officers that their tour of duty on Triacus would last one hour. (TOS: "And the Children Shall Lead")

The Klingon Commander K'Nera asked Worf to join him and the other Klingons when his tour of duty aboard the Enterprise-D was completed. (TNG: "Heart of Glory")

On stardate 42494.8, the USS Lantree began its tour of duty in Gamma 7 sector. (TNG: "Unnatural Selection")

Data called Roga Danar's service in the Tarsian War an honorable tour of duty, receiving two promotions and the rank of a subhadar. (TNG: "The Hunted")

Commander Riker was skeptical about Captain Picard's behavior when the captain ran the crew through efficiency drills for the first time in Riker's tour of duty aboard the Enterprise-D. (TNG: "Allegiance")

Chief Miles O'Brien thought when he was hunting down the Cardassian voles with a sonic generator, he would be doing this for the rest of his tour of duty. (DS9: "Playing God")

During the Occupation of Bajor, the Cardassian troops received Bajoran comfort women to make their tour of duty less stressful. (DS9: "Wrongs Darker Than Death or Night")

End of watch[]

End of watch was a term used for denoting the end of a duty shift for an individual.

Engage / Execute[]

"Helm, lay in an intercept course and engage at maximum warp."

"Engage" was mostly used as verbal confirmation to an earlier order given to the helmsman about the warp engines or impulse drive. It could also be used as a verb within the order referring to some other technological device, such as a tractor beam.

Users of "engage":

The term execute was also alternately used, such as by:

Fire at will[]

"Fire at will" was a military command for personnel to open fire when ready. Unlike "fire" or "fire on my command," troops are allowed to use their weapons at their own discretion and fire without needing to be told when, and are allowed to choose their own targets. This allows the individual soldier a greater freedom of timing the shot with target movement and other factors.


"Five-by-five" was military slang for a system being at optimum performance.

Lt. Jenna Mitchell told Captain Pike, "We are five-by-five for warp", prior to departure. (SNW: "Strange New Worlds")

Friendly fire[]

Front line[]

"Front line" was a military term for the outer-most edge of controlled territory in war, where the majority of military forces and combat are located. It is often shortened as "front", which centers around a specific geographic location, such as the "Bolian front", "Vulcan front", or "Chin'toka front". (ENT: "Storm Front")

In an alternate timeline, Deep Space 9 was on the front line of a Federation war with the Klingon Empire before being turned over to them. (DS9: "The Visitor")

In 2373, Lieutenant Commander Geordi La Forge was upset when the USS Enterprise-E was ordered to patrol the Romulan Neutral Zone as a Borg cube approached Earth, stating that as the most advanced starship on the fleet, it should be on the front line. (Star Trek: First Contact)

Three months into the Dominion War in 2374, Benjamin Sisko told Jadzia Dax that he hoped the USS Defiant would be sent back to the front lines. (DS9: "A Time to Stand")

Vulcan was one of the nearest major Federation planets to the front lines, as was the Kotanka system. The Federation pulled the Second and Fifth Fleets from these lines in 2374. Gul Dukat later pulled several Dominion ships from the front lines soon after. (DS9: "Favor the Bold")

The Rutharian sector was considered a long way from the front lines in 2374, whereas AR-558 was considered to be on the front lines in 2375. (DS9: "The Sound of Her Voice", "The Siege of AR-558")

After it was taken by the Federation Alliance, the Chin'toka system also became a major front in the war. Before the Second Battle of Chin'toka, Weyoun expressed his concerns to the Female Changeling that her proximity to the front concerned him. (DS9: "The Changing Face of Evil")

Starfleet Starfleet regulations state that personnel should be rotated off the front lines after ninety days. (DS9: "The Siege of AR-558")

The USS Destiny arrived at Deep Space 9 in early 2375 for supplies, as they were headed to the front lines of the Kalandra sector. (DS9: "Afterimage")

Vulcan Captain Solok considered DS9 to be "behind the lines", something Benjamin Sisko disagreed with, telling him that the station had seen its "share of action". (DS9: "Take Me Out to the Holosuite")

The USS Defiant traveled to the front lines in early 2375 on a supply run. Julian Bashir took several recordings of Vic Fontaine's songs although the hologram questioned whether or not the troops of the front lines wanted to hear them. Quark was also aboard the Defiant, as he was on a fact-finding mission for Grand Nagus Zek to give a report of life on the front lines. This made Quark uneasy, as he told Ezri Dax that war was not as profitable the closer you are to the front lines. The mission was also the first time Ezri had been to the front lines. (DS9: "The Siege of AR-558")

Late in 2375, the Female Changeling told Thot Pran that "the sooner we can regain the offensive on the front lines, the better." She believed this could be done by accelerating installation of Breen weapons on Dominion ships. (DS9: "Tacking Into the Wind")

Later, during the Battle of Cardassia, Pran told the Female Changeling he felt that the situation demanded his presence on the front lines. (DS9: "What You Leave Behind")

Give the word []

"Is the word given, Admiral?"
"The word is given. Warp speed."
– Peter Preston and James T. Kirk, 2285 (Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan)

To give an order, or awaiting an order. These words were spoken by:

Ground zero[]

Gung ho[]

"Gung ho" was an English term made popular by the United States Marine Corps during Earth's Second World War that generally meant "overly enthusiastic or energetic".

Chakotay, who believed himself to be the US Army Captain Miller, asked Captain Kathryn Janeway, "You're a gung ho kind of girl, aren't ya?" She acknowledged that she was, replying, "Does that bother you?" Chakotay/Miller responded, "Nope. Just not used to it, that's all. The girls back home are a little different." Janeway proceeded to explain, "I guess when it comes to my people's safety this girl tends to get a little gung ho," to which Chakotay/Miller admitted, "Nothing to apologize for. I'm the same way with my men. There's not a day goes by when I don't think to myself, 'I'm going to get 'em back safely, even if I die trying.'" (VOY: "The Killing Game, Part II")

In action[]

Seeing combat action.

According to Captain Hikaru Sulu, it was "Nice to see you in action one more time, Captain Kirk. Take care." (Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country)

Lost in action[]

USS Constance

The USS Constance, lost in action

Lost in action was a term used to describe starships destroyed in battle.

The USS Constance was officially listed as "lost in action" as of 2373. (PIC: "No Win Scenario")

Killed in action[]

William Boimler, KIA

William Boimler's "killed in action" status

Killed in action (abbreviated KIA) was a term used to describe those who were believed to be dead as a result of combat. Ships could also be referred to as having been killed in action if utterly destroyed. (DIS: "The War Without, The War Within")

A member of Connaught Rossa's family was killed in action at the Krasner outpost. (TNG: "Suddenly Human")

In 2368 Joshua Albert was reported killed in action when Nova Squadron preformed the illegal Kolvoord Starburst orbiting Saturn and its moon Titan destroying all five ships. 100 years earlier in the 2260s five other cadets were killed preforming this maneuver in Kirk's time. (TNG:"The First Duty")

In 2370 Sito Jaxa was reported killed in action when the Cardassian military destroyed her ship. (TNG: "Lower Decks")

Bajoran Resistance leader Li Nalas was reported killed in action, though his remains were never recovered. (DS9: "The Homecoming")

Several members of Starfleet were reported killed in action during the Dominion War. (DS9: "In the Pale Moonlight")

In 2381, William Boimler was officially listed in Starfleet records as being killed in action. In reality, he had been recruited by Section 31. (LD: "Crisis Point 2: Paradoxus")

Missing in action[]

For the novel, please see Missing in Action.

Missing in action (abbreviated MIA) was a term used to describe individuals who had gone missing while fighting a battle.

In 2152, Trip Tucker described his temporarily invisible hand as being "still missing in action" after it became cloaked. (ENT: "The Communicator")

In the early 2270s, Captain James T. Kirk had Starfleet list Captain Will Decker and Lieutenant Ilia as "missing-in-action" following the V'ger crisis. (Star Trek: The Motion Picture)

Captain Chakotay was declared "missing in action" in 2383. (PRO: "Observer's Paradox")

Wounded in action[]

Wounded in action (abbreviated WIA) was a term used to describe those who had been wounded in combat.

In 2374, Jadzia Dax recognized Maria Tatalia's name on a Dominion War casualty list. Tatalia was listed as wounded in action. (DS9: "In the Pale Moonlight")

Know the drill[]

Lights out[]

Mess call[]

Mess call described a time set aside for a crew or some other military unit to cease regular duties and consume food.

In 2267, Captain James T. Kirk described the beckoning of the Vaalians to feed Vaal as a "mess call". (TOS: "The Apple")

In an ultimately omitted scene from the final draft script of "The Man Trap", Janice Rand had a chance encounter with Kirk in a corridor, while she was carrying a tray that she intended to give to Hikaru Sulu because, as she explained to Kirk, he had "missed mess call." She asked Kirk if he needed her but he declined, so she continued on her way to see Sulu.

On guard[]

On report[]

"I'm putting you on report, in case that means anything anymore."
– Kathryn Janeway, addressing Chakotay, expresses her predicament of not being able to communicate with Starfleet about personnel issues, 2372 ("Maneuvers")

"On report" was a term referring to the punishment of a crewmember that enabled them to continue their duties, but with stricter supervision or more regular assessments, similar to being on probation. Regular reports would be filed about the crewmember's performance, usually by his or her superior officer. Being on report might be recorded in one's crew report or personnel file (VOY: "Maneuvers", "Meld") and could potentially have an adverse effect on a crewmember's future opportunities for advancement. (ENT: "United")

In 2154, after Lieutenant Malcolm Reed disobeyed an order from Commander Charles Tucker III in order to save his life, Tucker told him that he was placing him on report, but was only joking. He grinned and described Reed as being an "easy target." (ENT: "United")

In 2364, when acquiescing to Captain Picard's beaming down to Ligon II per Ligonian custom, Commander William Riker quipped that he would place Picard on report if he got hurt. (TNG: "Code of Honor")

Commander William Riker once told Lieutenant Reginald Barclay that he was tired of seeing his name on report. (TNG: "Hollow Pursuits")

Captain James T. Kirk once told Ensign Garrovick to "consider yourself on report" when Garrovick tried to stop Kirk from sacrificing himself on Tycho IV. (TOS: "Obsession")

Users of "on report"[]

On the double[]


Permission to speak[]

As part of a military organization, junior officers generally did not have the authority to speak their minds to their superiors. They might have been granted it, however, by asking for "permission to speak", with the amended "freely", "candidly" or ""frankly".

An officer that spoke their mind without first asking for this permission could face penalties such as being placed on report or being charged with insubordination. The commanding officer could choose to either grant the request ("granted") or deny it and, if denied, the lower-ranking officer might again have been subject to penalties. The commanding officer might have also choosen to simply state "always," indicating that they valued the opinion of the lower-ranked officer at any time, with no further need to ask for permission. This permission, however, may have been withdrawn later. The request for "permission to speak freely" was often accompanied by the commanding officer's rank, or the terms "sir" or "ma'am." In some cases, officers were known to make this request and then simply speak their mind without waiting for the granted permission. It was up to the commanding officer to decide whether or not to enforce a penalty for this.

In the alternate reality split in 2233, Leonard McCoy asked Spock for permission to speak freely following Spock's marooning of James T. Kirk on Delta Vega. Spock stated "I welcome it." (Star Trek)

When having dinner with Lyndsay Ballard, Captain Kathryn Janeway told her "We're not on the bridge, Lyndsay. You have permission to speak freely." Ballard asked if she really meant this, and Janeway replied that she wouldn't have said it if she didn't. (VOY: "Ashes to Ashes")

Users of "permission to speak"[]

Tucker's request to speak freely in "First Flight" wasn't scripted.

Rank hath its privileges[]

Also abbreviated, RHIP. (TOS: "The Menagerie, Part I", "Arena")

Roger []

"Roger" or "copy that" was military and NASA radio communications lingo that generally meant "received and understood." (Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home; Star Trek V: The Final Frontier; VOY: "11:59", "One Small Step")

"Roger" was formerly a letter in the phonetic alphabet.

Roll call[]

Roll call was a listing of names, or a call for individuals to list off their names in order.

As Captain Christopher Pike prepared to take the USS Discovery into action for the first time in 2257, he called for a "roll call" of the bridge officers so he could know who he was issuing orders to. He asked the bridge officers to list just their names, without rank, clockwise around the bridge, before assigning them each an individual instruction. (DIS: "Brother")

Running the gauntlet[]

Running the gauntlet was a term that referred to an old military punishment in which individuals were made to run between two rows of people who hit them. Metaphorically, it referred to any arduous travel through difficult conditions.

In 2377, B'Elanna Torres transported herself to the quarters she shared on USS Voyager with Tom Paris, rather than passing by all the Klingons who wanted to approach her regarding her unborn daughter, said to be the Kuvah'magh. She explained that she believed transporting herself directly there would be preferable to running the gauntlet. (VOY: "Prophecy")

The punishment this phrase originates from bears similarities to the Klingon Rite of Ascension.


Sir redirects here; for the title of a knight, please see Sir (title).

Sir was a term used by Starfleet and Bajoran officers to address officers of higher rank. Although the term was generally considered to be male-specific, it was also used when addressing female officers as well.

Protocol also allowed for its use between officers of identical rank, particularly where one held a higher overall position in a command structure. Upon his promotion to captain in 2285, Montgomery Scott addressed Captain Lawrence H. Styles as "sir" while serving as chief engineer under the latter's command aboard the starship USS Excelsior. Scott later addressed his fellow Captains Kirk and Spock as "sir" when serving with them aboard the Enterprise-A. (Star Trek III: The Search for Spock; Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home)

In Star Trek: The Motion Picture, there is at least one instance of a senior officer addressing a junior officer as "sir," when Admiral Kirk boards the refit Enterprise and requests "Permission to come aboard, sir" from the ensign sent to greet him at the airlock. This is consistent with military parlance but probably not required by protocol.

Chief Miles O'Brien called Doctor Julian Bashir "sir" because Bashir was his superior officer. Bashir did not like the term and asked O'Brien if he would call him simply Julian. (DS9: "The Storyteller") The doctor was not the first person to turn down O'Brien's use of the word – in 2367, after he referred to Sergey Rozhenko, Worf's adoptive father, as "sir" upon meeting him, Rozhenko lightheartedly asked his fellow chief petty officer not to use the term, as he had worked for a living. (TNG: "Family") O'Brien also called Commander Sisko "sir". (DS9: "If Wishes Were Horses")

Nog addressed Chief O'Brien as "sir" when O'Brien inspected the cargo, self-sealing stem bolts, for which Nog and Jake Sisko had recently traded. (DS9: "Progress") Later, when Nog was beginning his Starfleet Academy training, O'Brien wryly commented that after graduation, he would have to address Nog as "sir." (DS9: "Facets") A couple years later, during the preparations for the prisoner exchange between Keevan and Ishka, coordinated by Quark, Rom, Nog, Leck, and Gaila, Nog insisted on being called "sir" as he was preparing his "trainees". At one point, after Leck asked him a question, Nog simply responded, or rather added, "sir" when Leck finished speaking. Leck, misunderstanding Nog's intentions, replied, "No need to stand on formalities here – call me Leck." Nog responded, "No, I meant you should call me "sir."" Leck, retorted, "Don't be ridiculous." Nog again responded, "You mean "don't be ridiculous, sir."" At that point, Quark stepped in, and indicated, "let's not squabble. We're a team, Nog." Nog then corrected Quark, repeating, ""We're a team, sir."" When Quark, too, brushed off Nog's intent, Nog threw up his hands and said that he quit. (DS9: "The Magnificent Ferengi")

Captain Kathryn Janeway disliked being called "sir;" notwithstanding Starfleet protocol, she preferred to be addressed by her rank. She also accepted "ma'am," but only when the crew was "in a crunch." (VOY: "Caretaker")

While being interrogated by Rear Admiral Brand, Ensign Wesley Crusher addressed the female admiral as "sir".

After Deanna Troi had passed the Bridge Officer's Test and had been promoted to commander, she told Data, "From now on you can call me sir". (TNG: "Thine Own Self")

When Admiral Alynna Nechayev chastised Captain Jean-Luc Picard for failing to implement the invasive program against the Borg and ordered him to destroy them if presented with a similar opportunity, Picard stood and replied, "Yes, sir." (TNG: "I Borg") The skeleton crew of the USS Enterprise-D called Doctor Beverly Crusher "sir" when she was serving as their commanding officer while Picard and the rest of the senior officers were on the surface attempting to retrieve Data. (TNG: "Descent", "Descent, Part II")

"Sir" was also used from time to time when speaking to the masters of other vessels. Harry Kim addressed Supervisor Yost in this way. (VOY: "Gravity") Shipboard guests were also to be addressed as "sir" or "ma'am," irrespective of status, as shown by Jean-Luc Picard when welcoming Minister Campio aboard the Enterprise-D and by Tuvok when attending to Neelix in guest quarters on Voyager. (TNG: "Cost Of Living"; VOY: "Caretaker")

Stand to[]

"Stand to" meant to be at a state of readiness, historically meaning "stand-to-arms", but also extended to mean "Stand to battle stations." The term was used by the following individuals:


"Ten-hut" was a command that required those present to come to a position of attention.

In an alternate 2401, "ten-hut" was called as General Jean-Luc Picard approached a group of Confederation of Earth soldiers outside the president's palace. (PIC: "Penance")

There's something I think you should see[]

"There's something I think you should see" was a common report to senior officers, most often made by Starfleet personnel, especially during the late 24th century. A typical scenario would involve a junior officer discovering or witnessing some item of significance, then contacting a senior officer (most often by communicator) and advising them that there was "something" they should see. In many cases, the junior officer would also request the senior officer to come to their location, rather than explain what the "something" was over communication channels. (TNG: "Remember Me")

The phrase "there's something I think you should see" appeared frequently in Star Trek: The Next Generation (and to some extent later series) as a plot device allowing senior characters to visit the location of an important event, rather than simply have the event explained to them over communications channels. In actual military parlance, this manner of report would be considered somewhat unprofessional.

With (all) due respect[]

With all due respect, or simply with all respect, was a phrase sometimes used before expressing disagreement with another individual's opinion. Depending on the on the way it was expressed, it could be used either sincerely or in a sarcastic manner intended to convey that the speaker actually did not respect the other individual at all.

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